Legislative Update: February 10, 2017

Olsen Files Comprehensive 2017 Legislative Agenda
Today is the filing deadline for bills that will be considered during the spring legislative session. In all, I have filed 16 House Bills as Chief Sponsor. I will also serve as a Chief Co-Sponsor and as a Co-Sponsor of many other bills. The bills for which I will serve as the Chief Sponsor represent a variety of topics, and include:
HB 287: Requires that property tax bills detail a separate line item for each taxing district the dollar amount of taxes due that will be used toward contributions to a public pension fund for that district’s employees. 
HB 288: Addresses voter fraud by providing that any person who knowingly files an application to vote, accepts a ballot, or enters a voting machine on more than one occasion on the same election day where the ballot or machine lists any of the same candidates and issues (except to legally give assistance, to replace a spoiled or rejected ballot, or at the direction of a judge of elections), shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony. 
HB 289: Increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption from $5,000 to $7,000 for taxable year 2017 and indexes the exemption amount to the Consumer Price Index.
HB 290: Requires any unit of local government serving a population of 5,000 or more and any school district with an enrollment of 500 or more students to maintain an Internet website and post to that website certain information that affects taxpayers and stakeholders. 
HB 291: Eliminates pensions for future part time elected officials.
HB 292: Requires that over the counter medications that are prescribed by a physician, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or any other medical care provider shall be covered under the State's medical assistance program. 
HB 293: Prevents the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) from accepting any new participants beginning January 1, 2018; thus phasing out this pension system.
HB 294: Provides that members of a County Board of Election Commissioners shall serve in an unpaid capacity.
HB 295: Clarifies that for purposes of determining their pensions, teacher’s salary does not include expense reimbursements, expense allowances, or fringe benefits such as car allowances or mileage reimbursements.
HB 296: Improves transparency and accountability during the State budget process by requiring the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability to publish fiscal statements prior to the creation of a budget.
HB 297: Increases to 60 days (from the current 30 days) the time period during which taxpayers in counties outside of Cook can file a challenge of their property assessment valuation, provided they submit an appraisal.
HB 301: Requires all State agencies that wish to hold a public hearing regarding rulemaking to post on its Internet website certain requisite information to provide the public with notice of the proposed rulemaking. It also provides that if an agency decides not to initiate a public hearing, it shall post the requirements to request a public hearing, along with information on the proposed rulemaking, on its Internet website. 
HB 681: Provides a tax break for seniors by allowing a taxpayer’s household income to be reduced by any amounts paid as Medicare premiums.
HB 682: Improves transparency by requiring the Comptroller to create and maintain a searchable database website that provides information about recipients of gubernatorial and legislator initiatives and grants.
HB 692: Addresses price gauging by car rental companies by limiting any fee, surcharge or fine associated with use of an I-Pass to no more than twice the amount of a toll (toll cost and allowance for administrative time associated with tying proper tolls to proper renters).
HB 2427: Allows Townships to provide for the collection, transport, disposal, and recycling of brush, wood chips, and leaves (currently, only collection, transport, and disposal of brush and leaves) within the unincorporated areas of the township without referendum approval.

Olsen Chosen to Serve on Seven Key House Committees
As bills begin to move through the legislative process, the first step is a thorough vetting before a substantive committee. For the 100th General Assembly I will be serving on seven of these committees. Because of my background in the field of Finance, I will serve on the House Financial Institutions Committee. It is an excellent committee assignment for me, because I will be able to leverage my experiences as an ethics and compliance officer in the commodities trading industry to thoughtfully consider legislation that impacts our state’s financial institutions. 

I will also be serving on the Appropriations - General Services Committee. It is an honor to serve on this committee because it has a direct impact on key areas of state government spending. I look forward to working collaboratively with Representatives from both sides of the aisle as we consider how the State can reach consensus on both necessary spending and cuts in one of the most important parts of the overall budget.

In addition to these two committees, I will also serve on the Mass Transit Committee, the Elementary & Secondary Education- Licensing: Administration & Oversight Committee, the Insurance: Property & Casualty Committee, the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee, and on a special Committee on Aging. I am especially excited about the Mass Transit Committee, since a great number of District 81 residents rely on the mass transit system for daily commuting. I appreciate the opportunity to have a hand in the shaping of public policy that could improve commuters’ experiences.

Chamber360 Gala a Great Success
We have a wonderful business community in and around the 81st District, and I was glad to celebrate our business successes with many local business leaders at the annual Chamber360 Gala at the Lisle/Naperville Hilton last week. I’m shown in this photo with longtime Chamber members Timothy McJoynt and Marc Hausmann.

Illinois Housing Development Authority a Valuable Tool in finding Affordable Housing
For the last 50 years, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has helped countless Illinoisans find affordable apartments and homes. They have also helped make it possible for struggling Illinois residents to make repairs to their homes, refinance their loans and avoid foreclosure. If you need assistance with your current mortgage or with finding an affordable place to live, please don’t hesitate to contact this valuable resource. The IHDA can be reached at (312) 836-5200.

Olsen Attends Lisle State of the Village Address
It was my pleasure last week to attend the Lisle Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, which featured the State of the Village Address by Lisle Mayor Joe Broda. Mayor Broda spoke of the many economic development successes throughout Lisle in the past year. I’m shown in this picture with Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Mayor Broda.

February is Teen Dating Awareness Month
As February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight a local agency that is providing valuable services for those who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships. Sadly, one in three teens on average are victims of dating violence. Family Shelter Service staff reaches out to local high schools, and in 2015-2016 they reached over 4,000 students from 18 area high schools. Additional presentations were made at middles schools. By learning about the importance of only becoming involved in healthy dating relationships and knowing that tools and resources are available when a relationship turns threatening or violent, teens are better able to navigate the uncertain terrain of teen dating.

Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976, and has helped victims of domestic abuse rebuild their lives and break the cycle of abuse, creating a safer community for all. Additional information about the services offered through this wonderful agency can be found at www.familysheltereservice.org.

Mark Your Calendars for Lisle Mobile Office Hours on February 27
Mobile office hours are an important part of the community outreach provided by my office. On Monday, February 27, I will have a table set up at the Lisle Public Library, 777 Front Street, from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield. I look forward to talking one-on-one with constituents on the 27th in Lisle. No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 81st Legislative House District.

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